Author Topic: Networking in new city  (Read 2011 times)

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amagelssen

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Networking in new city
« on: Feb 25, 2012, 12:25 am »
Hi,

So I'm thinking of relocating to a new city for personal reasons and would basically be rebuilding my theater network from scratch. I'm wondering if anyone else has ever moved to a new city with few theater contacts and how they managed to network their way to gigs? I went to college in my current city (Chicago) and did internships and finding SM work here has been fairly easy but I've never had to build from scratch the way I would in a new city.

MatthewShiner

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Re: Networking in new city
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25, 2012, 12:43 am »
Hello . . . 2 years ago, I picked up from Washington DC (Home for six years) and moved to NYC.  I can speak for my experience - and I do know that NYC is different then any other market (both by the number of jobs and the number of SMs).


First, I moved with a job in hand.  So, I instantly made contacts.  Also, it's easier to find the next job if you are currently employed.

You will be amazed by home many people you know already in the new town.  Maybe just one or two; but that will quickly grow.

Don't every apologize about the networking.  I remember a great letter from a Broadway SM I cold sent a resume to - where I was sort of apologetic about the cold send - he wrote back and said, we all do it - and in fact a cold send of a resume is what landed his job on that show.

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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

hbelden

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Re: Networking in new city
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25, 2012, 01:05 pm »
Is there a theatre service organization in your new location, like Theatre Bay Area in San Francisco, or Theatre Puget Sound in Seattle?

Have you been reading American Theatre for articles related to the new region?

Get to know who the players are in the new pond, who is most active, and what they're up to.  While you're waiting to land a theatre job, go see as much theatre as you can.

Once you do get face-to-face time with a potential employer, it really helps to have specific references to the shows they've done lately and the challenges that they might have faced in getting them up, especially if those challenges could have been eased by the addition of your skill set.  But even in a less direct way, employers are more likely to hire you if they see you have an aesthetic interest in what their theatre is doing.

I moved from a deep and wide network in San Francisco to a one-theatre town in Ashland OR; but I'd been attending the OSF plays for seven years as an audience member and grabbing coffee with the PSM here on each of those seven trips.  I was able to move job-in-hand, like Matthew, because of that proven long-term interest in the theatre and the evident growth in my personal skills and resume during that time.
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BayAreaSM

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Re: Networking in new city
« Reply #3 on: Mar 01, 2012, 02:25 pm »
I moved from Indiana to the San Francisco area with only one thing - an internship.

I did make a point to fly to SF to see a show at the theater I was applying at and scheduled a meeting with that show's PSM (even though an in-person interview wasn't required). I met with the PSM the day after the performance I saw (so we had something to talk about besides me), then walked around the foreign city dropping my resumes off at surrounding theaters, during the rest of my stay.

I was notified that I got the internship 2 months later, and I rushed to put together a wedding and plan my new husband's and my move to SF. From that internship I landed 2 jobs, and from there I have been gainfully employed in an area where I had zero connections for the past 9 (will be 10 in August) years.

It can't hurt to find some places you want to work, pay the money and fly out there, see their shows and schedule meetings/interviews within the same time frame. And, if they know you made the effort to do all that, then they know you're really serious. My internship wasn't scheduled to start until October, and even though the PSM had met me only once, she knew I was moving to SF by August 1 - and she recommended me to Baz Luhrmann's La Boheme pre-broadway run in SF. THAT was actually my first job in SF, which had to end due to the internship I had moved out there for. I could've gone with the show to Broadway, but I stayed with my internship and made further connections that got me where I am today - in the middle of my 4th season as a resident PSM with a ballet company.

I came here with absolutely nothing - anything is possible.

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Re: Networking in new city
« Reply #4 on: Mar 03, 2012, 04:14 pm »
I moved 5 years ago from a large theatre market to a small one.  I located all nearby live theatres and dropped in: " Hello I'm so-and-so, new to the area.  Do you have time to show me around your facility?  Can I make an appointment with you for another time?"   I carried copies of resumes that I could drop off or hand to the person directly.
I was also willing to work outside of my main job skill and landed a few on-call gigs at rental facilities.  These gigs led to other gigs as managers/tech directors would refer me and I could network with the renters/presenters directly.
Now, I often have 2 to 3 things going on simultaneously.

missliz

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Re: Networking in new city
« Reply #5 on: Mar 03, 2012, 05:53 pm »
Talk. To. Everyone.

I moved to NYC knowing a few people (none working as stage managers) and an AD/SM summer gig. But I was a social butterfly, and let evvvveryone know what I was working on and what I was interested in. Through friends-of-friends I went to theater fundraisers/mixers, did some Broadway shadowing, and eventually landed a couple shows by handing my card out to probably too many people. But putting myself out there worked.
I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least. -Ionesco

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